HOW TO BE A TIDE: A MESSAGE FOR CANCER SEASON

In the thick of Cancer season’s deepest feels, spoken word artist and Moon Club founding member Lisa Luxx’s exclusive new poem, “How To Be A Tide,” reminds us that our most tempestuous emotions are our beautiful birthright …

How To Be A Tide is a poem about the movement and motion of being woman. It’s a dialogue about finding our most supreme beauty in that familiar expansion and contraction. About how much can be gained from seeing ourselves as individual waves in the ocean of sisterhood.

One great purpose of poetry is to turn familiar aches into unfamiliar blessings; to subvert moaning into marvelling. The instability of a hormonal body could drive a person mad if they’re pressurising themselves to maintain a static constant. So for me, as an incredibly tempestuous person, I traversed this tidal metaphor as a bid for freedom.

I’ve been philosophically exploring the nature of beauty for the past year or so – what it is, what it does and why that might be – writing out my revelations and dreams. This piece is about taking ownership of one’s own beauty. When you no longer have the resources to flow outwards, that means your beauty – enriched now – is coming back home to you. – Lisa Luxx 

How To Be A Tide will be published in Luxx’s upcoming collection Breastmilk Martini, which is out later this year with New River Press.

HOW BODY POSITIVITY CAN UNLOCK YOUR INTUITION

After a lifetime of food issues, Jillian Murphy discovered that living fully in her own skin was the key to her magic. She shares how body positivity can unlock your intuition …

Photo of Jillian by Wild Little Hearts Photography

“Before you can hear, much less follow, the voice of your soul, you have to win back your body.” – Meggan Watterson

I remember the day I first abandoned my body. 

I was 8 years old and visiting the mysterious temple my mother escaped to every evening when my dad got home from work—she called this evasive place of worship “the gym.” It was a Saturday open house and I was an immediate convert. The place was magical – dusty rose carpet, slick chrome and mirrors, George Michael pumping through the speakers, and LYCRA. So much lycra! (It was the 80s, k?)

I could tell right away that this was the place for me—a space of transformation, potential, and movie-worthy —this was a place where life happened. I grabbed a pop and a hotdog and then I naively hopped up on the scale where they were weighing everyone. And that’s where “It” got me.

As I scarfed my lunch, the two staff members in charge of weighing me began sniggering. Whispering about something clearly “adding 5 pounds” while looking at my body.

I wasn’t exactly sure what was going on but I knew the joke was on me. And I knew it was bad. Bad enough to remember but never ever talk about, until 25 years later, when I finally started to heal my relationship with food and with my own shape and size.

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Coming face to face with “it” … 
“It” is not that creepy clown from the Stephen King movie you’re picturing. No, no, the “It” I speak of is much worse—its name is diet culture and it spews a thin-is-best, fatphobic, classist, able-ist, racist, gender-biased rhetoric where the gold standard of beauty, body, and more recently “wellness,” is blatantly clear, objectively unhealthy, and unavailable to most.

Beyond the gym, there were many other moments when “It” got me, some that obvious, highlighted in Technicolor and frozen in time—a mental photo album created to prove my lack—while others were so subtle I internalized them without realizing, recognizing the damage only in hindsight.

From health messaging at school and dieting advice from teen magazines, to negative looks from boys and the admiration of “beautiful” girls in front of me, the signs were everywhere.  

Once, I remember hearing an older male cousin condescendingly laugh about the shape of a specific woman – stating that “to be attractive to men your shoulders needed to be at least “X”cm wider than your waist. Though I thought it harsh, I internalized the comment as though it were about me. In a diet culture with rigid beauty ideals, no woman is left unscathed.

Everywhere, the message I absorbed was: you are not good enough. More specifically: your body is not good enough.  

Even more specifically: your body is not good enough and, as a female, it’s your personal responsibility to take charge of your weight and beauty and behavior and do what it takes until you fit the ideal lest you remain unworthy forever. Also, hot sticks of processed meat are un-ladylike.

Photo of Jillian by Wild Little Hearts Photography

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Your intuition lives in your flesh …
It might look like a criticism, a comment, a side-eye (sometimes much worse), and it makes you gasp, the foul gas of “you’re not good enough” filling your lungs and seeping into your tissues. From that day on, the myth of diet culture is no longer just a story around you, it is a story about you.

You disconnect. You abandon your physical self. You override your female knowing that your curvy, lumpy, bumpy body is beautiful and normal and you do your best to crush the voice that says “I’m hungry” or “carbs would be nice” because that voice is clearly an idiot that doesn’t know bikini season is coming up.

The result? Food issues, yes. But diet culture doesn’t just destroy our relationship with food and distort our body image—it separates us from the most powerful ally we have—our inner knowing.  

Your intuition lives in your flesh and speaks to you through your body. She is nourished by pleasure, abundance, approval, and desire.

When she has been dampened and starved into submission, you are left living a storyline that keeps you doubtful, unsteady, competitive, and unsure. An ideal that keeps you distracted from your most important work in the world and suggests your worth is up for debate.

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Amplify the whisper …
When we discourage (read: flat out ignore) the whisper of biological feedback that tells us we need more calories or carbs or a day of rest—we simultaneously diminish the whisper that helps us discern and decide in all areas of our lives.

These whispers are one in the same. Learning to hear and trust the signals from our very intelligent, self-regulating, female appetites is a super-powered short cut, reconnecting us to our broader inner knowing. It amplifies the whisper.

I lost so much time sacrificing my wellbeing and connection to self in the pursuit of worthiness via weight loss and superficial beauty. I made bad decisions. I was distracted. I lost time. I learned slowly that, in order to write a new storyline for myself, I would need the power of my intuition and that the first step in rebuilding a connection with my soul voice was winning back my body.

Photo of Jillian & family by Wild Little Hearts Photography

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Here’s how to start amplifying the whisper and winning back your own body …

1// Give up the pursuit of weight-loss. The pursuit of weight loss is THE thing that disconnects us and keep us looking outside of ourselves for shoddy solutions. Weight-loss attempts fail over 90% of the time, long-term, and the collateral damage is your relationship with food and your connection to your inner knowing. Start by pretending that you aren’t in control of your weight (because you really aren’t) and that your only goal is to feel vibrant and energetic and joyful in your body.

2// Counter the deprivation narrative. Tuning into our hunger and reliably feeding our bodies is the first step in repairing the collateral damage of deprivation and moving towards a more intuitive relationship with food.

Start the process of consistent nourishment by connecting with your hunger signals. See if you can rate your hunger on a scale of 0-10 (0 = not hungry at all, 10 = “hungry,” low blood sugar, shaky). Can you notice the subtle differences between a 4 and a 7, or do you regularly swing from overstuffed to starving?

3//Discover your delicious. The basics when it comes to nutrition and movement have been well understood and unchanging for generations – move your body regularly, get fresh air, drink water, eat lots of plants and unprocessed foods – not too little, not too much, and honor your mental/emotional need for pleasurable, celebratory foods.

Now, from this magical place—without all the rigid rules, “shoulds”, and fears—what do you feel like eating? How do you feel like eating it? How do you want to move your body and for how long?

*Note: There is a good chance you have NO IDEA. Start by asking the questions and experimenting. Follow your curiosity and see how it goes—maybe you hate plain raw carrots but you love them roasted or with dip (Hot tip: DIP IS DELICIOUS). Allow yourself to try new things and neutrally observe how your body feels.

4// Fully live with the beautiful bod you’ve got. When your physical appearance stops representing your entire worth and is, instead, just a fun outward expression of your personality, the game changes. Start living the life you aspire to have when you are in the perfect body and watch the shift!

Make a list of all the activities you are waiting to do when you lose the weight, get more toned, have your nose fixed, are more perfect, etc. Make the list as exhaustive as possible. Next step? Start doing all of those things IMMEDIATELY. Wear the red lipstick, rock the shorts, eat the gelato, show your navel, go on the date, try the tap class, climb a mountain, go back to school. Do it all!

Dr. Jillian Murphy is a registered, licensed Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine. She has dedicated the past 8 years to studying intuitive eating and body image, and works with diverse, smart, health-conscious, women who are DONE WITH DIETING, and looking to get out of their heads and re-connect with their bodies. Follow her on Instagram, listen for more wisdom on her Podcast, and join The Food Freedom/Body Love Collective, her monthly membership space that provides you with the tools, strategies, support, and community you need to live healthfully in the body you are IN! 

HOW IT FEELS FOR A TRANS SOUL TO COME HOME

As the 2018 Leo Lunar Eclipse asks us to stand up in our fire and be truly seen, childhood abuse survivor and joyous healer, Danny Brave, shares his journey and reveals how it feels for a trans soul to come home …

Danny Brave. Photo by Tommy Venus.

“I remember the moment
when I came home to
my body

what a lovely reception 
that was
(though emotional) 
. . . ”

While working with a sexual empowerment coach in 2015, this was the beginning of a poem I wrote entitled “coming home.” In the exercise that inspired it, I visualized that pieces of my soul were perched over my head.

My coach then instructed me to reach up with my hands and pull these pieces of my soul back into my body with my hands. After a few minutes, the coach then instructed me to call my soul back into my body by placing my hands on my heart and saying my name out loud, three times: Katie. Katie. Katie.

And I burst into tears, because I felt in that moment a tiny piece of me came home, along with a deep knowing that I had never actually, up until this moment felt at home within my body. Not once in 28 years.

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:: MEETING DANNY BRAVE :: 
This session took place just a month after recalling memories of my father sexually assaulting me as a child, an event which completely altered the course of my life. The memory shattered the fabricated reality of the cheerful, healthy relationships I thought I had shared with my immediate family members up until this point.  

As a result, my journey home into my body has also felt, and still sometimes feels, extremely challenging. In fact, at times, this would be an extreme understatement.

Between July of 2015 and now I have, almost relentlessly, uncovered countless repressed memories of being sexually assaulted and abused in a multitude of ways. Not only by my father, but also my mother and grandfather, along with some deeply questionable evidence that I was not in fact a woman.

I remember being in the thick of my repressed memory recall and looking in the mirror and talking to myself, and hearing a voice in my head say to myself, “I want to be a boy.” I thought I must be insane, and shut that voice down for an entire year before I would allow it to re-emerge and accept it as truth.  

Fast forward to today. I now know that my true name is Danny Brave, and I am a gay trans man. I discovered the trans part in June of 2016, but was too terrified to come out until that November. And the gay part I wasn’t even too sure about until about a week ago.

Photo: Tommy Venus

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:: I WANT TO BE A BOY; I AM A BOY :: 
The reality of my gender identity came crashing down that June, when I decided to, once again, look my inner child in the mirror and have a conversation with them and really listen this time. This is a practice I had adopted from the amazing work of Louise Hay as I found it to be deeply healing (and for those who are brave, I cannot recommend it enough!)

I asked my inner child what was wrong, as I had been feeling deeply depressed, and I had long hair at the time that felt droopy and heavy. I asked what I could do to help them feel better. In response, I heard the voice of my inner child scream: “I want to be a BOY!! I AM A BOY!!  I want to cut off all of my hair!” 

It was that same voice I had heard a year ago, a voice that I could no longer ignore or discredit as crazy: this was the real me, the one who as a kid tried to pee standing up, who felt confused about why he did not have a penis, the one who loved dancing, singing, and fabulous shoes, and had dreams of being a visual artist.

This moment in the mirror was the moment I finally decided to listen to myself. Two days later, I cut off all of my hair and immediately felt so much better, so much more like me. I began to realize that I could not visualize myself in the future as a woman without wanting to die.  

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:: FROM TERROR TO TRANSITION :: 
At this time, I had dug myself into a hole by moving to a small town an hour and a half outside of Los Angeles, where I was making little to no money, had no car, and no health insurance, let alone access to trans health care or support groups.

I was terrified, and had created this situation out of that same terror. I knew I had to get back to a city to gain access to support for figuring out my transition. I thought my choice would be Los Angeles as that would be the most convenient, but shortly after moving to LA and not being able to land a job with decent pay, I took the little money I had left and moved back to NYC in August of 2016.

It was in NYC that I was able to take my old job back, and gain access to the support I needed to come to terms with myself and transition: trans masculine support groups and free therapy via the Center on 13th Street (for which I am forever grateful). I came out in October 2016, and lost a majority of the “close” friends I had at the time.

In the winter of 2016, I met up with a friend from one of my support groups and told them I was having suicidal thoughts and that I couldn’t get out of bed. They gently pointed out to me over a cup of coffee that not being on testosterone was “not working for me,” (to put it mildly) and I started hormone therapy shortly thereafter, in January of 2017.

Every week since then (with the exception of one month during which I completely panicked) I have been injecting myself with a needle filled with testosterone (also simply referred to as “t” within the trans community).

This simple act is slowly but surely transforming me externally into the person I have always been internally, which feels a bit like becoming sane and going crazy at the same time. I am going through a literal and a figurative process of transformation in order to become the person who I have also always been. Quite a trip!

Photo: Tommy Venus

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:: WHOLE, LOVING, JUICY :: 
Last week I had a more triumphant and joyful moment of homecoming, when I attended a dance class with my loving partner (who is also a trans man) shortly after having anal sex for the first time (for hours on end, I might add).

Something so essential about who I was clicked into place while with him: I felt like my soul actually landed it my body. It felt really good, and really whole and loving.

Running late for the class, I looked into his big, beautiful eyes on the train on the way to class and felt he was really seeing me for the first time, and I him. Beneath the boobs, we were, and are, two gay men, despite all of the “ma’ams” and “misses” and the lifetime of being perceived differently by everyone, including ourselves. Our truth felt so simple in that moment, and I felt truly beautiful in his eyes. Really real, and really me.

Looking in the mirror in the dance class, I could see how recently my arms, wrists, and fingers had gotten so much more masculine looking, and how flat my chest looked with my binder and the grey t-shirt I was wearing. This made me smile, as did acknowledging how much I love to dance—always have, always will.

I glanced over at my partner in the mirror, and saw a beautiful person who was somewhat scared to be themselves out in the world, but who was doing it anyway, just like me. I saw someone who was willing to go outside of their comfort zone to try something new, something they always wanted to do, like take a dance class, or write this article, and the simultaneous nervousness and courage behind his eyes made my heart swell.

Then I looked at his juicy butt doing the warm up and felt my genitals wake up once again in my stretchy pants. This also made me smile. I realized and accepted in this moment that I was gay—that I REALLY was a man who liked men (cis and trans). Always have been, always will be. And that despite all of the incest, I always have been and always will be a deeply sexual person (after all, my Venus is in Scorpio).

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:: IT TAKES COURAGE TO ENJOY IT :: 
It has taken years, a village of trans allies, sensitive artist friends, therapists, Reiki attunements, shamanic healers, dance/movement therapy teachers, sexual alchemy teachers, yoga trainings, sexual empowerment coaches, random acts of kindness from strangers like the lady in the Starbucks who told me that who I was was really beautiful and that the world would love the real me, and thousands of dollars worth of credit card debt to get here. But damn, I did it. I’ve done it. I’m here.

And I love sex. Yes, I love sex! says the man who had his first orgasm from masturbation when he was 27 years old, because he thought sexual energy meant being hit, yelled at, and penetrated without consent. Says the man with a female body who didn’t want to look down or touch himself there because it would mean realizing that my mind and body did not match. Says the man who was, as a child, anally raped by his father and grandfather and molested in a bath by his mother, and taught by the Catholic religion that sex was a sin and that my body was something to be ashamed of. Says the man who was not allowed to share a bed with his boyfriend when he visited his parents’ house at the age of 26, being not-so-subtly shamed that they lived together before marriage.

Yes, I love sex. And I have reclaimed sex to the extent that it now makes me feel alive, loved, present, powerful, and best of all, real. What once made me feel terrified now allows me to feel safe. It takes me from that idea of myself in my head perched above my body to actually being an embodiment of self. It is teaching me to trust life again.

In the words of Bjork in her song “Big Time Sensuality”: It takes courage to enjoy it. I hope that everyone who has been through what I have gets to experience this particular kind of courage.

I hope that everyone gets to experience the pleasure of coming home into their own sexuality, their own body. 

Tommy & Danny. Photo by Lyndsey Kamide.

Danny Brave is a Writer/Public Speaker/Educator on the subjects of Gender/Transgender, Overcoming Trauma, and Ascension/Spiritual Living. He is a Master Shamanic Reiki Practitioner/Psychic Healer specializing in helping people of all genders, ages, body types, and races overcome the effects of child abuse/sexual assault via various healing modalities which he has come to term “Brave Healing Arts.” He conducts monthly LGBTQIA & Allies Community Healing Circles at Maha Rose in Greenpoint, Brooklyn (1st or 2nd Wednesday of each month). He is 100% sober, vegan, and loves to paint, take photos, dance, and pet dogs. 

HOW I AM COMMITTING TO RAISING A CONSCIOUS MAN

In a climate of deeply wounded masculinity, Nina Endrst was dismayed to discover she was having a boy. But she soon realized this was a calling to declare her credo for raising a conscious man …

Photo by Dru Nadler

I consider myself pretty intuitive. It’s been my work, especially in recent years, to release doubt and follow my heart in whatever direction I’m led.

Shortly after I became pregnant, I felt I “knew” I was going to have a little girl. I felt it in my bones. Saw visions of her during deep meditation and healing sessions. We were going to raise a little feminist.

Wrong. Well, sort of. My 22-week ultrasound revealed that I was in fact having a boy. A BOY?! Of course my only hope is and was to have a healthy baby—but I’ll admit I was knocked off my intuitive pedestal in that moment.

When we got in the car, I looked at my husband and said, “UGH! He is going to watch porn?!” I was totally freaked out for a good few minutes, going over all the things he definitely couldn’t do or be.

How the hell am I going to raise a man? Despite having strong relationships with good men, something about being responsible for ensuring that mine wouldn’t grow up to be a chauvinist asshole was daunting. It is impossible for me not to be enraged daily by the toxic masculinity that exists in our society, and around the world.

As I pondered what it would meant to raise a conscious man, I asked myself, where do I begin?

Then, I remembered a dream I’d had about an old boss (privileged, white, good looking by most people’s standards, probably rarely hears or understands the word “no”). This dream triggered a real memory of the sexual harassment I experienced while I was an employee and had “forgotten” about.

Because I, like most women, experience sexual harassment ALL the time. Many of us have also been victims of assault (I was age 9, and wrote about it here). The recent #Metoo shed some light on the epidemic, but this is not and cannot be perceived as “normal.”

So how do we heal such a deep and devastating wound? The conversation feels bigger than I can possibly wrap my head and heart around. And it raises serious doubts about how I will raise a conscious, sensitive, compassionate, FEMINIST man today.

Below is my individual process to tending to this wound daily—for myself, my son, and the whole. It’s where I am beginning my commitment to raise a conscious man …

Photo by Matthew Johnson

1// I commit to regularly sharing with the men in my life how I am and have been mistreated as a woman.
Practice: I will not assume that everyone is awake, watching, and listening. This does not mean I will excuse sexist behavior or abuse—this means I will educate men around me through my personal experience. I will share how it made me feel when I was cat-called earlier that day, when I do feel safe, and discuss the long-lasting emotional and energetic damage that I and most women have to continually work to undo.

2// I commit to teaching my son that women are not things to be “had.” We are human beings to be respected.
Practice: I will surround him with strong females, both in real life as well as through literature and media. From the time he is born, I will introduce him to men that speak to and about women with love and respect, and will continue to work with my husband to show him what a healthy and equal partnership looks like.

3// I commit to helping my son understand that silence is unacceptable.
Practice: I will speak up in his presence and explain to him that with privilege comes responsibility. That we are put on this earth to protect each other and it is not OK to sit quietly on the sidelines if and when we witness injustice or abuse.

4// I commit to speaking honestly to my son about dangerous and unhealthy body standards placed on women.
Practice: I’ll raise him to look for intelligence, kindness, and humor in women, and people in general, before beauty. I will show him that beauty exists in many forms and do my best to limit his exposure to messaging that is damaging to women.

5// I commit to teaching my son how to show emotion—that sensitivity and compassion are part of what make him “a man.”
Practice: I will ask him how he feels and listen to him with an open heart. I will allow him to express himself and his emotions fully and praise him for it.

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My son will be born in a few weeks. I feel mostly at peace and a little clueless and naive. I do not know how our lives will unfold from here, and am very aware that much of it is out of my control. But I do know that I will try every day to be the strongest, softest, version of myself, both for my son, and for our collective healing of the wounded masculine as it unfolds.

Nina lives her yoga and is inspired by traveling to places outside her comfort zone, both physically and emotionally. Currently based in Hudson, NY, she leads retreats around the world and welcomes students of all levels. Connect with her at ninaendrstyoga.com and on Instagram.

MOONERS & SHAKERS: THE MOON CLUB MEMBER ROCKING THE MUSIC INDUSTRY

As the Weinstein scandal exposes deep-rooted sexism in the creative world, Moon Club member and electro pop maven Kaerhart is rocking the music industry with guts, intuition, and uncompromising vision … Photos by Jennica Mae. 

Breaking up the “old boys club” to a brand new beat …
The Harvey Weinstein scandal has dug up a lot for me personally. I almost quit music entirely after a very traumatic experience and it breaks my heart to think that any other woman could be subjected to this.

One of my artistic project’s main objectives is to bring together talented women so we can collaborate, support one another, and use our voices to create communities where we feel safe and heard. I see a lot of communities like this forming in LA right now and it is truly amazing. The more we are bringing each other up, the more we are able to overcome the obstacles that a male-dominated industry presents.

As women increasingly fill high level positions in the industry, we will start to break down the ‘good ol boys club’ mentality and give way to a safer space where sexism has no place. 

Letting the pain spill into art …
When I wrote my debut single, “Drain My Love,” I was in a really turbulent headspace. I had been suppressing my emotions, not wanting to face them, and pretending like everything was ok when it wasn’t.

With “Drain My Love,” I finally gave myself the permission to let go. I had felt emotionally ‘fucked up’ for so long and just needed to let it all spill out in order to heal the pain. My hope is that the song provokes others to do the same.

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“Making it” means trusting your gut …
I’m not sure if you ever really feel like you have “made it” as an artist. There’s always room to grow, other limits to push yourself towards, and new parts of yourself to explore and discover.

Everyone you meet, from producers, to A&Rs, to friends, and even your own parents, will have an opinion about the music you are making or the music they think you should be making. Your art and vision will be judged every which way regardless of what you create.

There have been times when I could have compromised who I was or my values in order to get ahead in the industry. But I always knew I had a purpose that was beyond just attaining success.

You have to listen to your own voice and go with your gut each and every time. As long as you can stand behind your work, regardless of what others think or say, that is ‘making it’ to me. 

The Moon Club tribe …
Moon Club has really helped me to find my tribe- not just online but in Los Angeles as well. I have met some of my best friends and biggest supporters through this community.

And beyond the community itself, coming back to the ancient wisdom of flowing with the Moon’s cycles has helped me to deepen my spiritual practice and feel more in touch with my intuition and Mother Earth.

Kaerhart is an LA-based electro pop music artist, intuitive numerologist, and co-founder of the apparel brand Mystic Tribe. Check out her debut single “Drain My Love” on Spotify and Soundcloud, and follow her on Instagram

**Want to start your own revolution? As the New Moon cycle begins this week, sign up for Moon Club and join our tribe of cosmic change makers at Moonclub.co. 

WHAT’S YOUR ASTEROID GODDESS SIGN?

Want to harness your full feminine force through the stars? Activate some serious girl power with your asteroid goddess sign, says Rebecca Farrar. 

With the Sun traveling through Virgo, the only female figure in the zodiac, it’s the perfect moment to harness the power of the zodiac’s feminine archetypes.

Just as modern women often face a limited expression of the feminine, traditional Western astrology often relegates us to either the mother (Moon) or lover (Venus).

Luckily, the four asteroid goddesses (Ceres, Vesta, Pallas, and Juno) open up a world beyond traditional roles of wife and mother, and lead us into a deeper exploration of our feminine complexity.

By diving into both the “positive” and challenging aspects of these placements in our charts, we can heal limiting dichotomies and make space for the re-emergence of a fuller expression of our feminine force …

Below, your guide to navigating and activating these placements in your chart. **New to your birthchart? Discover your asteroid signs by looking at your birth year and month HERE.

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:: CERES :: Roman Goddess of Agriculture, Grain, Fertility, and Mother-Daughter Relationships  
Ceres energy recognizes the paradox roles we inhabit as both our own parent and child. It also teaches us where we easily provide nurturance, love, and care to ourselves and others.

Illuminated Expressions: Self-parenting, nurturing self and others, acceptance of cycles of birth and death, caregiving

Shadow Expressions: Intense attachment to mother, projection of our unmet needs onto others, eating disorders

Placement by Sign: Unveils our deepest needs and reinforces our self-care priorities.

  • Ceres in Fire Signs: Nurturing and nourishment through movement (Aries), exploration (Sagittarius), and self-expression (Leo). *Make time for having mini-adventures, or celebrating your need for independence and dominance through traveling or starting your own side business.
  • Ceres in Earth Signs: Feels cared for with sensuality (Taurus), stability (Virgo), and commitment (Capricorn). *Connect with nature by taking a guided nature walk, learning more about the native plants or animals where you live, or spending time outside barefoot.
  • Ceres in Air Signs: Communication (Gemini), cooperation (Libra), and individuality (Aquarius) are places to foster nurturance. *Educate yourself on social justice and equality through taking classes or participating in activist groups, or explore art and design.
  • Ceres in Water Signs: Offer yourself and others nurturance by appreciating your need for feeling loved (Cancer), deep emotional bonding (Scorpio), or connection to spirit (Pisces). *Make time for seeing a therapist or being in groups where vulnerability and emotional expression is honored. Or volunteer your time doing something connects you to compassion for others.

:: VESTA :: Roman Goddess of Hearth and Home  
The second largest asteroid reminds us of our devotion and how we can commit to a spiritual path and guard our inner sacred flame. It also indicates how our sexuality unfolds or develops with time.

Illuminated Expressions: Connecting to spirit through ritual, dedication to personal ceremonies or spiritual path, desire to bring magic into human experience, sacred sexuality

Shadow Expressions: Unrealized sexual potential, fear or denial of sexuality and passion, self-alienation

Placement by Sign: Reveals what we ritualize or desire to make sacred

  • Vesta in a Fire sign: Energy and drive becomes channeled through ambition (Aries), creativity (Leo), or idealism (Sagittarius). *With this placement, sexuality may become alienated through so much self-focus. Notice how you may use your sexual energy as self-fulfillment or to dominate others instead of sustaining supportive, ongoing relationships.
  • Vesta in Earth Signs: Comfort (Taurus), service to others (Virgo), and hard work (Capricorn) are the touchstones for focusing passion. *Explore practices such as Tantric sexuality that unite the sacred aspects of Vesta with the down-to-Earth qualities of connecting.
  • Vesta in Air Signs: Find ways to dedicate yourself to knowledge (Gemini), balance (Libra), and change (Aquarius). *In an air sign, Vesta craves ideas and shifting perspectives. Take classes on human sexuality or write out your own sexual biography as a way of noticing patterns in your own evolution and process.
  • Vesta in Water Signs: Devotion to ones’ feelings (Cancer), explorations of the taboo (Scorpio), or spiritual practice (Pisces) take on more importance. *The fiery nature of Vesta and the water sign placement soften the focus and call for sexual healing. Understand your energetic boundaries with sexuality and steer clear of spaces or situations where they may not be honored.

:: PALLAS ATHENE (ATHENA) :: Greek Goddess of Wisdom, Craft, Poetry, and War 
Named after Athena, who honors the prophecy and oracle in us all, Pallas holds the key to our hidden genius.

Illuminated Expressions: Wisdom as integration of intuition and intellect, pattern recognition, strategic thinking, artistic expression

Shadow Expressions: Over identification with intellect, rejection of the inner feminine, black and white thinking

Placement by Sign: Shows us where we have intuitive gifts or creative intelligence.

  • Pallas in Fire Signs: Harness your unique genius by initiating (Aries), creating (Leo), or larger-than-life visioning (Sagittarius). *Try martial arts such as kung fu or t’ai chi, or fencing, to harness the innate warrior intelligence. Pallas in Leo and Sag may want to channel the fiery nature into creativity with arts and crafts, or take up chess where pattern recognition and playfulness meet.
  • Pallas in Earth Signs: Creative intelligence could be well suited for art (Taurus), woodworking (Virgo), or architecture (Capricorn). *Pallas here wants foundational or practical skills. Use a hands-on approach for finding a creative outlet that allows for your own clarity of touch and intentionality.
  • Pallas in Air Signs: Explore your gifts in debate or speech class (Gemini), mediation (Libra), or activism (Aquarius). *Pallas in air utilizes her keen sense of wisdom, perception, and the power of words. Become an advocate for change and the breath of fresh air it brings to your mind.
  • Pallas in Water Signs: Notice patterns of emotion (Cancer), intensity (Scorpio), or dream interpretation (Pisces) *Pallas’ intuitive gifts become more obvious here and perception turns towards the feeling realm. Use your skills in music, film, psychotherapy, or photography.

:: JUNO :: Roman Goddess of Marriage and the Queen of the Gods
Juno presides over marriage and business partnerships, and often indicates the type of person we marry or find it easy to commit to. She helps us differentiate between being attracted to someone versus what is a good long-term fit for us.

Illuminated Expressions: Balanced partnership that honors both individual purpose and connection through commitment, equality, and loyalty

Shadow Expressions: Attachment patterns, power struggles and jealousy in relationships, fears and manipulation, controlling expressions of the feminine that detach us from personal needs and selfhood

Placement by Sign: Understanding what motivates us to be in partnership, and how we can create both togetherness and individuality

  • Juno in Fire Signs: Relationships with excitement that also involve independence (Aries), admiration (Leo), and unified vision (Sagittarius) are all main motivators for partnerships. Keep an eye on passion that leads too far into drama or becomes destructive. *Look for potential partners at the gym or places where you can expand your horizons.
  • Juno in Earth Signs: Keeps an eye out for stability in relationship and looks for physical security (Taurus), day-to-day support (Virgo), and dependability (Capricorn). *Ideal long-term partners could include people you meet at work, or in more traditional ways such as friends of friends, or even a matchmaker.
  • Juno in Air Signs: Seeks mental stimulation (Gemini), equality (Libra), or freedom (Aquarius) in partnership. Honor the air element by honing communication skills in relationships and staying open to something more non-traditional. *Locations for cosmic connections could include school or community events.
  • Juno in Water Signs: Juno appreciates nurturing (Cancer), intimate bonding (Scorpio), and spiritual connection (Pisces). Juno here may also be prone to not see things clearly, so keep away from manipulation, power struggles, or fantasy. *Karmic partnerships may form at church, through family friends, or even at intense bastions of sexuality like strip clubs!
Rebecca, aka The Wild Witch of the West

Before becoming an astrologer more than seven years ago, “Wild Witch of the West” Rebecca Farrar was a huge skeptic. Now, she can’t imagine doing anything else! When not staring at her transits, she can be found wandering Ocean Beach, curled up with a good book, or “force” cuddling her kitty Freyja. For more cosmic musings, follow her on Instagram and Facebook. 

DREAMING ABOUT SEX WITH STRAIGHT DUDES … WHEN YOU’RE QUEER AF

She’s queer AF … so what are her dreams about having sex with straight men trying to tell Wolf Medicine Magic? Portraits: Sandra Hong

Photo: Sandra Hong

It was around 2015 that the “man dreams” started. I don’t remember the details or the exact date, but basically for the past two years, and at this point on a weekly basis, I have had dreams about being attracted to, having sex with, seducing, pursuing and being good friends with straight men.

Probably not a big deal—except for the fact that I’m queer AF and haven’t slept with a straight man in years. More importantly, I’m not just a queer feminist. Calling myself a feminist seems like choosing Diet Coke. It’s kiddie stuff. Feminism light. It’s cute but it’s a label that cannot describe my deep, deep yearning to eradicate all traces of the patriarchy and toxic masculinity from this planet. If womyn’s separatist lands were more inclusive I’d sign-up in a minute.

For realz, my feminism is intersectional, queer, gender fluid, anti-racist, anti-apartheid, pro-trans, and realizes that all lives won’t matter until we are all free. This means that the patriarchy and our currently fucked up notions of who “owns” masculinity (hint: what if we are all free to be masculine/men at any time and on any given day?) needs to end.

I have also spent the past several years carefully carving out a life for myself that doesn’t involve *men. I absolutely love female energy, and being around those who are tapped into both female and male energy in a harmonious balance. To me, being in environments dominated by straight men feels like being wrapped in a wet blanket in sub zero temperatures. I become exhausted from having to deflect misogyny, sexual objectification, and struggling to be heard and seen.

The walk to the subway can be a battle against misogyny for most women, trans, and queer folks. So I’ve taken great care to at least make my work and social life free from gender oppression, and it feels amazing. None of my employers or co-workers are men. I don’t have any men as friends.

Occasionally I’ll have a man in one of my yoga classes but for the most part my world is queer and female. To me, my trans/gender fluid friends exude a harmonious energy that is devoid of toxic masculine energy. Meaning I’m never interrupted, talked over, or forced to take up less space.

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In fact, the gender scales of my adult life have tipped so far towards the feminine, I really don’t know what it’s like to be masculine or have exchange with masculine energy anymore. And I used to be totally fine with this—but I’m beginning to see the negative impact of this imbalance on my life.

This is most evident when it comes to asking for what I want from people (and mostly when it comes to my career and work related situations). I’m so used to tapping into a soft and gentle way of being, I am terrified of seeming too aggressive, too entitled to take up a lot of space, or of being too demanding—since I’ve learned to see these as negative traits.

But I’ve realized that what I want so badly for this world is for ALL PEOPLE TO BE SOFT AND GENTLE AND AGGRESSIVE AND DEMANDING WHENEVER THEY WANT. For these qualities not to be deemed “male” or “female.” I mean, right now I can hear a voice in my head saying: “stay in your lane. You must ask gently and with kindness and not too loudly. If you demand things from people and don’t consider how this demand affects them then you are a mean, privileged, entitled MAN. And you don’t want to be like that.” The struggle. Is. Real.

And did I mention that my own philosophy around gender is that it’s fluid AF, and something to be played and experimented with? To clarify, I love masculinity—just not when it’s being projected at me in the name of protecting some dude’s fragile ego.

I don’t hate men. I repeat, I don’t hate men. What I hate is that our society has told us that men have more privileges than women, and that masculinity needs to be protected at all costs (because it is fragile, and women/feminine power will destroy it). And I know not all men are exercising their privilege and exerting a toxic masculinity onto the world. Many men are great people, who want better for the world—but it is a FACT that all men benefit from and can use their privilege at any time. Sometimes it’s handed to them, whether they ask for it or not. Thus, the phrase “male privilege.”

At a young age, men are also taught all the masculine tools they need in order to be men—i.e. be powerful, aggressive, strong, commanding. Take what you want, take up a lot of space, talk as much as you’d like, make people listen to you. Your opinion matters most, you’re smart and clever (even if you aren’t), and women don’t matter as much.

This is changing, thank Goddess, because I see the up and coming generations fucking shit up and challenging all notions of sex and gender. So there is hope, but things are slow to change. Down here in 2017, we’re still in the thick of it.

Photo: Sandra Hong

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My own gender representation is that of masculine sissy fag. I don’t wear dresses or skirts or shave my legs or underarms or any other body hair below my neck. I haven’t worn a pair of heels in who knows how long. On the surface one might think “oh there goes that soft butch.” But five minutes into knowing me you’ll clearly see a swishy, prissy teenage boy. Who wants to be a fabulous girl. Who wants to be a gay teenage boy.

I couldn’t be any farther from “butch.” I can’t even put together IKEA furniture, let alone chop wood, fix a leaky faucet, or start a fire. Or whatever else our society has deemed as “masculine.” I hate contact sports and could care less about watching them.

And yet my subconscious is evidently desperate for me to connect with my masculine side. Or as I like to think of it, my more aggressive, entitled, demanding, space-taking side. Why else am I dreaming about having sex with a dude? At the time of writing this, the dreams are happening at least three times a week.

So I have begun exploring ways to start integrating more masculine energy into my way of being. The first being to notice when I’m avoiding aggressive, demanding behavior—easiest to notice and correct when emailing and texting. Instead of “I’m just emailing to ask about my workshop proposal…” I correct myself and write: “When will my workshop proposal be processed?” To get right to the point. I’ve had a few opportunities to put this into practice in real time, too—and I find it to be so difficult. It just isn’t my natural way of being. But it IS helping me get what I want—and faster!

I’ve also tried to have more compassion and empathy towards straight, overtly masculine men. So, so difficult. I really do feel though, that evolving spiritually and getting where I want to be in life as I ease to the other side of 35, that this is a process I need to go through. I am receiving a very clear message from spirit to start being everything that I don’t like: meaning more aggressive, taking up more space, being demanding. But with compassion. These qualities aren’t always bad. In fact, less labels please; balance is the key.

I believe this is why the feminine IS rising. We. Are. Tired. Of. This. Shit. I’m ready for a gender fluid, queer, anything goes kind of world. It’s not girls to the front, or down with me. It’s folks to the front—and wave your gender representation freak flag high.

*For sake of space and to avoid repetition the use of the term man or men refers to cis-gendered, straight identified men. When referring to women I’m referring to cis-gendered and trans women unless otherwise noted.

THE MANY FACES OF THE FEMININE

The Earth needs empowered feminine energy like never before in 2017. How will you connect to the many faces of the feminine essence?

 

2016 was a wildly challenging ride through womanhood. As we enter the New Year, we sat down with Sarah Durham Wilson and Jessica Sevapreet Hesser to explore how you can activate all of the faces of your feminine in 2017—from awakening your creative force to making friends with death.

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DECIDE HOW YOU WANT TO SHOW UP AS A WOMAN IN THE WORLD

To show up as a woman in the world, you have to understand that first and foremost you are WOMAN. Imagine what it would be like to feel worthy, beautiful, loved, and important without needing to change or maintain anything. What if no matter what you did, no matter how you looked, no matter what happened to you, you understood that these essential things were always yours?

Activation: Grace of God Meditation

Mantra: Bhand Jammee-ai

Crystals: Chrysocolla, Ruby, Larimar, Rose Quartz

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FIND YOUR GODDESS

I didn’t really find the Goddess, she found me. Many years ago I had an experience of my god dying. It really came out of the blue, and this idea of a Christian male godhead started to disintegrate within me. At first I really grieved this loss, but then things started to move in a different way—Jessica

Activation: Finding the goddess is really just about connecting with the parts of you that feel beautiful and graceful. A perfect way to do this is through dancing. Put on music and just let it move you. Raise the vibration even higher by wearing something silky or adorning yourself with jewelry. Start with this Goddess Playlist.

Mantra: Adi Shakti

Crystals: Moonstone, Mother of Pearl, Sapphire

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MAKE FRIENDS WITH DEATH

Women hold the death energy because we are always changing, like the Moon and like the seasons. When we remove ourselves from death and darkness it leaves us very incomplete and disempowered. In working with the Faces of Feminine we can come back into integrity with the beautiful wholeness, which is our birthright and the source of our power—Jessica

Making friends with death is about inviting back all the parts of ourselves we have exiled. It’s an invitation back into integrity and into wholeness. Explorations into this dark space can start by just allowing yourself to really be in the unknown.

Activation: Sit in silent meditation, unmoving, with your eyes closed for 20 minutes per day. See what comes up with curiosity, rather than fear.

Mantra: Kal Akal

Crystals: Black Tourmaline, Obsidian, Black Fluorite

Sarah Durham Wilson

DISCOVER THE “FOUR NIGHTS”

Once a woman understands the cycles of the earth and phases of the Moon, she can understand herself better. She doesn’t feel so alone because she is one with the Mother, which is where we feel best; it’s where we feel most natural, most feminine, most alive, most nurtured, abundant, and empowered—Sarah

Activations:

Dark of the Moon—Let yourself be emptied. Have a day of silence. Turn off your phone, computer, and TV and just experience being only with yourself, alone and quiet.

Waxing Moon—Make a list of all the new things you want to do for the next year and then go do one! Go on an adventure. Explore. Listen to music that enlivens your spirit.

Full Moon—Get creative. Paint, draw, or cook a fabulous meal.

Waning Moon—Self care. Take a bath. Get a massage. Do some slow yoga. Let yourself eat in a way that really feels nourishing.

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ALIGN WITH YOUR FEMININE AND MASCULINE ENERGIES

When I reside in the unhealthy masculine, I’m chasing, not receiving. I’m pushy, rushed, and faithless. When I lose touch with feminine energy, I lose touch with the best parts of myself. Re-finding the balance between the two serves not just me but everyone around —Sarah

We all have feminine and masculine energy. The key is to know when each is useful. Masculine energy is essential in order to manifest your creativity and turn your feminine force into action and form. But too much masculinity can show up as disconnection, rigidity, aggression, or irritation. Too much femininity arises through overly-emotional reactions, indecisiveness, confusion, or an inability to take action. If you’re experiencing either of these, it’s time to call your neglected side back to the table.

FEMININE ACTIVATION: Try reading or writing poetry, dancing, or singing. Focus on receiving. Do a few minutes of left nostril breathing.

Mantra: Adi Shakti

Crystals: Moonstone, Pearl, Rose Quartz

MASCULINE ACTIVATION: Get physical — go for a run, take a kickboxing class or do a few minutes of Sat Kriya or right nostril breathing.

Mantra: Har

Crystals: Black Lava or Tiger’s Eye

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TRANSITION FROM MAIDEN TO MOTHER

Woman is always the creative essence, whether through giving birth to children, ideas, businesses, art, words, or any other form you put into the world. The Maiden energy is full of vitality and energy. But when we stay there too long, the opposite actually happens: we are drained of our energy and we are stripped of our power. The Maiden doesn’t quite yet know what being woman is, but the Mother embodies it completely—Jessica

MAIDEN ACTIVATION: The gift of the maiden is innocence. If you feel a loss of vitality in life or are lacking passion and enthusiasm, you may need to connect to your maiden energy. Engage in something new—go on a road trip, check out a class you’ve always wanted to take, have an adventure day.

Mantra: Ardas Bahee

Crystals: Aura Quartz, Citrine, Spirit Quartz

MOTHER ACTIVATION: The gift of the mother is grace. If you find yourself really concerned with what other people think of you or are wrapped up in appearances, you could do with a good dose of Mother energy. Connect with Mother Earth. Go outside, walk barefoot, lay in the grass, pick wildflowers. Try the Maaa Meditation.

Mantra: Beautiful, Bountiful and Blissful

Crystals: Mother of Pearl, Celestine, Aquamarine

Jessica Sevapreet Hesser

WORK WITH OTHER WOMEN

I know that the Goddess is the missing piece in so many women living in a patriarchal culture—these are tools I wish my mother had had, the self love and intuition and feminine alignment of cycles and seasons in our lives. When I had a feminine awakening, it literally saved my life and I wanted to share the gifts I’d been shown with every woman I possibly could. I didn’t just want to, it felt like a mission that Goddess had handed me—Sarah

The first step to working with other women is to be willing to get over yourself! Allow yourself to really enjoy the things that other women bring to the table without needing to compete or compare. Every woman has her own gifts and when we join forces our power is exponential.

Activation: Explore lunar wisdom by joining the Moon Club or The Faces of the Feminine.

Mantra: Me Within Me is the Purity. Me Within Me is the Reality. Me Within Me is the Grace. I Am the Master of the Space.

Crystals: Blue Lace Agate, Blue Chalcedony, Turquoise

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BECOME A SACRED ACTIVIST

2017 will be the year of the woman. There is a huge awakening in response to a call felt deep in the heart of every woman, a call put out by a planet which is suffering. Women are rising up, ready to be sacred activists, ready to be protectors of the earth and its people, ready to be the saviors we have been waiting for—Jessica

Becoming a sacred activist means first coming into integrity and alignment with your own values. Take a look at the things you find yourself impassioned about. How much energy do you use that you don’t need to? What do you “make war on,”attack, or hate in your own life or in yourself? Where do you sell yourself as a woman—where do you abdicate your power? After you dig into questions like these, the work you can offer the world shows up really clearly.

Activation: Find an activist group near you or online. Practice the Meditation to Invoke Your Inner Light.

Mantra: Magnificent Mantra

Crystals: Vanadinite, Jasper, Carnelian, Pyrite, Amazonite

 

Join Sarah Durham Wilson of DOTIGIRL and Jessica Sevapreet Hesser for FACES OF THE FEMININE, a four-weeks online women’s study course, with guidance, virtual circles, rituals and Kundalini Yoga starting January 8th. Find out more and register here.

SARAH DURHAM WILSON: CONVERSATIONS WITH MY COVEN

With The Coven Conversations, Sarah Durham Wilson wants to help women heal themselves – so they can heal the world. She shares her vision for a women’s circle with serious purpose…

“Most women I know are Priestesses and healers…We are, all of us, sisters of a mysterious order.” – Marianne Williamson

Do It Girl founder and former music journalist Sarah Durham Wilson has chosen this killer quote to preface the intention of The Coven Conversations, a series of 13 live interviews with the women she calls “Coven.”

On a mission to help women heal themselves, so they in turn can help to heal the world, Sarah has hand-selected a tribe of 24 miracle-making modern mystics to take part in the series, which will take place Tuesday nights – launching 7/7.

“Sharing our stories as women is what helps us heal, and I wanted to spotlight the sisters who have held and inspired me on my path, and who have also undergone transformation – change of form – to become their true selves,” she says.

As for the title; “the word Coven means Gathering of Witches, while “witch” simply means healer, or wise woman. In fact, Covens were once banned because the power of women circling together with common intentions proved too powerful.”

Which we think you’ll agree, pretty much sets the scene for some serious bad-assery…

Available to subscribers via Sarah’s site, you can sign up and find out more about the series and the speakers at www.doitgirl.com – while below, Sarah shares how to stage a Coven conversation of your own…

What’s the ideal moon phase for a powow with your Coven?
I tend to believe Full Moons are the best times to convene in coven. They’re a time of deep celebration, honoring, illumination, and fullness. Conversely, I’ve found New Moon Ceremonies call in our shadow to be seen, which is super important of course, just not for the novice priestess. But then I’ve always learned the hard way…

How do you prep the space?
Well the Coven Conversations are virtual, but if we were in physical coven, we’d prepare the space like we would for a moon circle – which it is, women gathering with healing intention, holding space for the self, the other, and the Goddess. For me, ritual is all about intention. You can prep everything “perfectly” and by the book, but if your intention isn’t there, it won’t be imparted to your Self/the Divine. So you could actually do nothing “physical”, but set the intention of sacred space and healing, and you’d be doing it perfectly.

Still, saging yourself and the area where you’re enacting ritual is always good to clear the energy. Lighting candles, because Spirit loves light, is a beautiful invitation, while calling in the elements (North/Earth, East/Air, South/Fire, West/Water, Spirit/Self), and even casting a circle, all aid in creating space for the ritual.

We would begin by breathing, to bring us into our body, before saying an incantation to the Goddess/God, or Spirit, to bring us into our divinity and to bring Her into the space. When you’re holding a party for the most elegant guest in the Cosmos, it’s about setting a place at the table for the Goddess and simply inviting her in.

What’s on the menu?
I’ve learned not to imbibe in “spirits” before a spiritual ritual! But afterward, women like to pass wine or sparkling juice, and bless chocolate and break it together. Eating the chocolate is like taking in that blessing into the body. The Goddess also loves a celebration. Joy is her perfume and she douses herself in it generously. As the Hopi Prophecy says, “the time of the lone wolf is over, gather yourselves.” And I believe this means all rituals now should be enacted in a manner of celebration.

Any herbal enhancements?
Incense. I like Cedar these days, because it smells like my family’s cabin on Martha’s Vineyard, and currently based in Taos, New Mexico, I feel so far away.

Are men ever allowed?
While every woman and man needs to heal their feminine energy and bring it forth on the planet, presently, I am focussed on working with women. We’re healing the body of the feminine to heal the body of the earth – and when sharing stories of the feminine in sacred circles, women, at this point, tend to feel safer with a female-only audience. But stay tuned!

The most pressing topic of conversation for you and your coven today?
Mary Magdalene teaches: “My story is your story,” and that’s sort of the premise for the Coven Conversations. That beneath the character names and places and timing of events, we share similar stories of shame, exilement, self abandonment, fear, healing, and love. The purpose of sharing your story is that it not only heals you, but those who hear it. This communion, of coming into union with your sisters and recognizing yourself in their stories, brings us into wholeness, and oneness, moves us from isolation into community, and from a feeling of being alone to the understanding that we are all one.

Who’s in your Coven, and what does the word mean to you? Connect with us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and share your stories of sisterhood